Isles’ MSP backs voter registration drive

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Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, has backed a new campaign encouraging voters missing from the electoral roll in the Western Isles to register to vote in time for the Scottish Parliament election.

A new campaign launched by Shelter Scotland and the Electoral Commission is aimed at encouraging those living in rented or temporary accommodation and homeless people to sign up to vote.

Figures published by the Electoral Commission show that only 63.3% of people who rent from a private landlord were registered to vote in 2014, compared to 93.6% of those who own their home outright and 89.3% who own their home with a mortgage.

Mr Allan commented: “This is a very welcome campaign and I commend Shelter Scotland and the Electoral Commission’s work – nobody in the islands should find themselves disenfranchised simply because of their living situation and it’s important that we do everything we can to ensure as many people as possible are signed up to vote.

“One of the great successes of the independence referendum was the level of engagement and voter participation that swept across our communities in the weeks and months before September 18th.

“Never before have so many people signed up to have their say in the democratic process in Scotland - it is vitally important that we aim to retain this level of voter participation as we move in to the Scottish Parliament election campaign.

“The coming election in May is about how we keep the islands and Scotland moving forward and build on the progress we’ve made since 2007 – and it’s vitally important that everyone’s voice is heard as Scotland’s national debate takes place over the next 100 days.”